Social Security vs. Taxpayer Identification Number
Social Security Number (SSN)
Every U.S. citizen and green card holder can receive a social security number.
Anybody who legally works needs a social security number in order for the social security administration to apply social security and medicare payments made by the employer on behalf of the employee to the right account in the employees name.
Foreign nationals are eligible to receive a social security number if they have permission to work (and they are in the country long enough to receive the social security card). Generally, F, J, H, TN, O, P visa holders are allowed to apply for a social security number as long as they are employed.
Find answers to many questions about the Social Security Number on the Social Security Administrations website.
Steps to get a Social Security Number (SSN):
- Generally, for incoming undergraduates and new employees the Office of International Student and Scholar Services or for the Language School Administration organizes a visit of a Social Security Representative to the Middlebury College Campus. Otherwise, go to the Social Security Administration office at 58 Pearl Street, Burlington, VT 05401, Tel (802) 951-6753
- Fill out Form SS-5 and take it to a clerk
- Show your passport to the clerk
- Show your I-94 and IAP-66 to the clerk
- Show a letter of employment to the clerk if you are non U.S. citizen
- Request a receipt
- Ask if you can call to get the SSN. If not it will be mailed to you in about two weeks
NOTE: You need to be in the U.S. for at least 24 days in order to receive a Social Security Number. It will take around 10 days after your arrival in the U.S. for SEVIS to verify your visa information in their system and the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you are in the U.S. for another 14 days after verification in order for them to process your Social Security Number application and mail the card to your U.S. address.
When you receive your SSN, please bring the number to the Student Employment Office if you are a student or to Human Resources.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Any individual who is not eligible to obtain a social security number and is required to file a U.S. tax return, must apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The reason to apply for an ITIN most often encountered at Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute is to receive treaty benefits on an honorarium or non-qualified scholarship payment.
Both, Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute of International Studies are certified IRS Acceptance Agents which means that both institutions are certified to fill out Form W-7 and send it to the IRS. Both institutions only submit Form W-7 in order to obtain treaty benefits for honorarium or non-qualified scholarship payments made by the institution based on the determination by the Tax Office.
Anybody who is filing a U.S. tax return who does not have a social security number needs an ITIN. It can be obtained by filling out Form W-7 (carefully read the instructions on what kind of information has to be send along with the application) and attaching it to the filled out U.S. tax return.
An ITIN always starts with a 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit, example 9XX-7X-XXXX. Here is a link to more information on the ITIN.
If you applied for an ITIN by yourself in order to file a tax return and have not received an ITIN assignment letter from the IRS within a couple of month, you can call the 1-800-829-1040 customer service number of the IRS. You can then request a reissuance of the ITIN assignment letter.